In Sons of the Forest, survival may be a little easier than usual in the genre thanks to the addition of competent AI companions.

Sons of the Forest Adds AI Companions to Make Survival Simpler

With Sons of the Forest, Endnight Games is shaking up the survival genre by adding AI behaviors more common in RPGs and action adventures. According to a recent preview from IGN, one of the biggest new features in this follow-up to 2018’s The Forest is AI companions.

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Regardless of if you’re playing solo or in multiplayer, you’ll begin with one companion, a silent soldier who is able to collect resources to remove some of the repetition that comes with crafting in the genre. Whether or not they’ll be able to assist in other ways isn’t yet clear. However, you can also recruit other NPCs throughout your time in the game. The preview mentions a three-armed mutant named Virginia whose personality the developer likens to “an elusive and independent cat.”

The AI improvements in Sons of the Forest extend to NPCs, who will respond more realistically in combat and exploration. In this respect, Sons of the Forest seems to be cribbing from the Nemesis system from Middle-earth: Shadow of War with a hierarchical structure to NPC communities that will affect their development. You can find out a little more about how Endnight has improved enemy interactions in our earlier interview with the team.

It’s not just AI that Endnight is rethinking, but the entire approach to crafting. For example, while you’ll still be able to build with prefabricated blocks, you’ll also have the option to place logs and other materials at will. In conjunction with removing the barriers to collect the necessary materials, that could make Sons of the Forest one of the best games for self-expression out there.

The game has suffered multiple delays since its reveal back at The Game Awards 2019, but it’s now set for a PC launch on February 23.


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Damien Lawardorn
Editor and Contributor of The Escapist: Damien Lawardorn has been writing about video games since 2010, including a 1.5 year period as Editor-in-Chief of Only Single Player. He’s also an emerging fiction writer, with a Bachelor of Arts with Media & Writing and English majors. His coverage ranges from news to feature interviews to analysis of video games, literature, and sometimes wider industry trends and other media. His particular interest lies in narrative, so it should come as little surprise that his favorite genres include adventures and RPGs, though he’ll readily dabble in anything that sounds interesting.